Transcript: Cotton In Cornwall | Feb 10, 1989

(music plays)

A black and white clip shows a man opening a cotton bale. A title reads “Ontario Retrospect: Cotton in Cornwall.”

The Narrator says IN THE EARLY 1920s,
THE PROCESS OF COTTON
MANUFACTURING WAS A LONG
ESTABLISHED INDUSTRY
IN CORNWALL, ONTARIO.
THE RAW PRODUCT,
TRANSPORTED FROM
THE SOUTHERN UNITED STATES,
ARRIVED AT THE CANADIAN PLANT
IN 500-POUND BALES.
THE FIRST STEP WAS TO
PICK IT OVER BY HAND
AND THEN TO CLEAN
IT MECHANICALLY.

(music plays)

A clip shows cotton on a conveyor belt going into a machine.

The Narrator says COTTON FIBRES HAVE THE
ABILITY TO ADHERE
TO EACH OTHER WITH VERY
LITTLE COMPRESSION.
AFTER THE INITIAL
CLEANING,
THIS TENDENCY FOR THE
FIBERS TO STICK TOGETHER
WAS USED TO WIND THE
COTTON INTO LOOSE ROLLS
READY FOR THE
CARDING MACHINE.

(music plays)

A black and white clip shows several machines rolling winding cotton into rolls.

The Narrator continues EACH ROLL HAD TO
BE OF GENERALLY
UNIFORM SIZE
AND WEIGHT.
CARDING IS THE COMBING
PROCESS WHEREBY
THE COTTON FIBRES ARE
ALIGNED WITH EACH OTHER
READY TO BE DRAWN
OUT INTO THREAD.
IT WAS THE INVENTION OF A
MECHANICAL CARDING DEVICE,
SUPERSEDING THE
LABORIOUS HAND PROCESS,
THAT MADE MASS MANUFACTURING
OF THREAD POSSIBLE.

(music plays)

A clip shows machines drawing thread from cotton rolls.

The Narrator continues FROM THE CARDING MACHINES,
THE LOOSELY PACKED COTTON,
NOW IN THE
SHAPE OF A ROPE,
IS DELIVERED INTO
CANS WHICH ARE PLACED
IN FRONT OF
DRAWING FRAMES.
THE DRAWING OF THE THREAD
TAKES PLACE IN TWO STAGES.
IN THE FIRST, SIX
STRANDS ARE RUN INTO ONE
AND THEN SIX OF THOSE ARE
COMBINED INTO ONE STRAND AGAIN.
THIS IS PLACED
BEHIND A FRAME,
DRAWN THROUGH ROLLERS
AND WOUND ONTO A BOBBIN.
THE RAW MATERIAL,
WHEN IT HAS JUST COME
FROM THE CARDING
MACHINE IS A WEAK,
LOOSE STRAND
CALLED ROVING.
ROVING CANNOT RESIST
THE SLIGHTEST STRESS
BUT IN THE SPINNING ROOM,
BY DOUBLING AND RE-DOUBLING
THE STRANDS, DRAWING
THEM THROUGH ROLLERS
AND SPINNING THEM OUT,
ONE STRAND IS FORMED
WITH A CONSIDERABLE
TENSILE STRENGTH
IN THE SHAPE
KNOWN AS YARN.
THE PREPARATION FOR
WEAVING THE YARN
INTO FLAT MATERIAL INVOLVED
DYING THE NEW YARN
FOR USE IN
MIXED PATTERNS.

(music plays)

A clip shows a man leading threads of yarn out of a machine.

The Narrator says AFTER THE VARIOUS
YARNS ARE DRY,
THEY ARE PUT ON SPOOLS.
ACCORDING TO WHICH COLOURS
ARE REQUIRED FOR
THE LENGTHWISE PART OF
THE PATTERN, OR WARP,
THE CORRESPONDING SPOOL
IS PUT IN A CONTAINER
OR CREEL, AND ALL THE
LENGTHWISE THREADS ARE
WOUND ONTO THE BEAM READY
TO BE PLACED ON THE LOOM.

(music plays)

A black and white clip shows multiple threads being winded into a roll.

The Narrator says EACH LENGTHWISE THREAD
IN THE MATERIAL
HAS TO BE ANCHORED ON THE LOOM
IN A PRE-ARRANGED SEQUENCE
SO THAT GROUPS OF THESE
INDIVIDUAL THREADS
MAY BE HELD AND SEPARATED.
THE WEAVING ROOM, A
CAVERNOUS AREA FILLED WITH
THE OVERWHELMING
DIN OF THE MACHINES,
WAS THE PLACE WHERE
THE LENGTHWISE
AND CROSSWISE THREADS
WERE PUT TOGETHER.

(music plays)

A clip shows a long room, with numerous looms operated by women.

The Narrator says WITH THE USE OF A
MECHANICAL DEVICE,
THE CROSSWISE THREAD COULD
BE FED BACKWARDS
AND FORWARDS THROUGH THE
WARP STRANDS AND THE WOVEN
MATERIAL DRAWN OFF
ONTO ROLLERS IN UNITS
OF ABOUT 120 YARDS.

(music plays)

Black and white clips show looms weaving cotton strands.

The Narrator says SINCE THERE WAS A GREAT
DEMAND FOR PLAIN COTTON GOODS,
ANOTHER PART OF THE
FACTORY WAS GIVEN OVER
TO THE BLEACHING AND
DYING PROCESSES.

(music plays)

A clip shows a man pulling a long strand of weaved cotton from a roll.

The Narrator says SIZING, TO GIVE
THE MATERIAL BODY,
TOOK PLACE JUST BEFORE
THE MATERIAL WAS DRIED.
THIS PLAIN MATERIAL
CAME OFF THE LOOM
IN ROLLS OVER
700 YARDS.
HUGE ROTARY DRUMS WERE
USED FOR THE KNAPPING
PROCESS WHICH GAVE THE
CLOTH A SOFTER FEEL.
THE LAST STAGE WAS
TO ROLL THE CLOTH,
BALE IT AND WRAP
IT IN PAPER.

(music plays)

Black and white clips show women rolling up the cotton cloth, and wrapping it.

The Narrator says A POPULAR ITEM COMING
FROM THIS FACTORY
WAS THE FLANNELETTE SHEET
OF TRADITIONAL DESIGN.
THIS REQUIRED CUTTING EACH
ONE FROM THE ORIGINAL ROLL
AND THEN HEMMING
IT AT HIGH SPEED.

A clip shows a press compacting cotton cloth.

The Narrator says A HUGE PRESS WAS USED TO
COMPRESS THE CLOTH
TO FACILITATE PACKING
IT FOR DISTRIBUTION
ALL OVER THE WORLD.

(music plays)

A black slate with a caption appears. It reads “Ontario Retrospect: Cotton in Cornwall. Material courtesy of National Film Archives, Ottawa.”
A logo appears
A production of TVOntario
The Ontario Educational Communications Authority MCMLXXIX

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